Cecil Harmsworth King

1 portrait

Cecil Harmsworth King, by Graham Vivian Sutherland, 1969 - NPG 6613 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Cecil Harmsworth King

by Graham Vivian Sutherland
oil on canvas, 1969
36 1/4 in. x 28 3/4 in. (920 mm x 731 mm)
Bequeathed by the sitter's widow, Dame Ruth King, 2002
Primary Collection
NPG 6613


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This portrait was commissioned for the Board Room of IPC. But even as King sat for Sutherland, its fate was overtaken by events. For in 1968, King, convinced that the country under Harold Wilson was heading for financial disaster, proposed an emergency government under Lord Mountbatten. Advised by Solly Zuckerman that this would be treason, Mountbatten refused. After an inflammatory piece in the Mirror, King was dismissed by IPC and retired to Ireland with his second wife, Ruth Railton, the founder of the National Youth Orchestra. The portrait never hung in the Board Room and was given to the sitter by the incoming Chairman.

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